The plaintiffs and the original defendants in Virginia’s congressional redistricting case want a three-judge panel to proceed with drawing a new map over the objections of Republicans in the state’s delegation. Lawyers for the plaintiffs say congressional Republicans’ motion to suspend the proceedings, pending the U.S. Supreme Court’s review of the GOP appeal, is “simply the latest in a series of efforts to delay this court’s correction of the unconstitutional racial gerrymander” in Virginia’s 3rd District.
The Office of the Attorney General, representing the original defendants — members of the State Board of Elections — writes that Republicans in Virginia’s delegation “cannot demonstrate a likelihood that five justices” of the Supreme Court “will find clear error in this court’s determination that race predominated in the (2012) redistricting.”
The three-judge panel has twice ruled that in 2012 Virginia legislators packed too many additional black voters into the majority-black 3rd District, diluting their influence in surrounding districts.
The Supreme Court will not rule on the GOP appeal until next year. Lawyers for Republican members of the Virginia delegation are urging the three-judge panel not to act on a new map in the interim.